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Bear with the number of links in this post. They are useful links.

This week, I've left work early on Tuesday and taken off the rest of week to attend the National Basketry Organization's 6th Biennial Conference at Stonehill college in Easton, MA. I'd taken classes at the DeCordova Museum School this past spring with Lois Russell, who's now a board member and encouraged students to go. The last Biennial was in Portland, Oregon, and so this seemed worth a trial run. I couldn't decide on which of the classes to take (and too much money went off to other obligations) so I'm daytripping, just there for seminars and tours. That includes lunch, but I paid a little extra for the opening dinner and keynote addresses and I've very glad I did.

This is not a large group. The president and co-founder, Michael Davis, said there were about 109 people attending.

This is not a group with a lot of history. The NBO was founded only 13 years ago.

This is a group who have taken up the challenge of a craft turning into something more, as almost everyone has referred to "the past 30 years" as changing the qualifications of artisanry into art, and the result of "getting what you wanted" (i.e., now having to compete for show and gallery space with every other 3D artist). But the NBO is specifically about valuing the traditions of basketry as well as contemporary art. The latest exhibition, in conjunction with the Fuller Craft Museum (and the catalog, "All Things Considered VI" is awesome!) has nearly as many traditional ethnic/cultural basketmakers as contemporary ones.

So the keynote speaker was Lissa Hunter, whose art is wonderful, veering towards the painterly but staunchly maintaining its basis in basketry. And the secondary speaker was (forgive me, I didn't manage to record her name) from Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, MA, who talked about what artists should care about in photos, in statement, in bio, in resume, and about the exhibitions they've held, including the current "The Vessel Redefined."

Oh, and here is my latest basket, the one I'd started at GNE and was working on at Readercon:
Squaring the Circle, Circling the Square